Advances in mouse models of prostate cancer

Expert Rev Mol Med. 2008 Jun 9;10:e16. doi: 10.1017/S1462399408000689.


Advances in science and technology have allowed us to manipulate the mouse genome and analyse the effect of specific genetic alterations on the development of prostate cancer in vivo. We can now analyse the molecular basis of initiation, invasion and progression to metastatic disease. The current mouse models utilise knockout, knock-in or conditional regulation of expression using Cre-loxP technology. Genes that have been targeted include homeobox genes, tumour suppressors and oncogenes, growth factors (and their receptors), steroid hormones and cell-cycle regulators, as well as pro- and anti-apoptotic proteins. Bigenic models indicate that that two 'hits' are required for progression from intra-epithelial neoplasia (PIN) to invasion carcinoma, and two to five hits are needed for metastasis. Here, we discuss the numerous models that mimic various aspects of the disease process, such as PIN, locally invasive adenocarcinoma and metastatic disease. Currently the PB-Cre4 x PTEN(loxP/loxP) mouse is the only model that spans the entire continuum from initiation to local invasion and metastasis. Such mouse models increase our understanding of the disease process and provide targets for novel therapeutic approaches. Hopefully, the transgenic models will become inducible and ultimately allow both temporal and spatial gene inactivation. Compound mutational models will also develop further, with double and triple knock-in or knockout systems adding to our knowledge of the interaction between different signalling cascades.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / genetics*
  • Adenocarcinoma / physiopathology
  • Adenocarcinoma / prevention & control
  • Adenocarcinoma / therapy
  • Androgens
  • Animals
  • Cocarcinogenesis
  • Disease Models, Animal*
  • Dogs
  • Drug Screening Assays, Antitumor
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic
  • Genes, Tumor Suppressor
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mice* / genetics
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Neoplasms, Hormone-Dependent / genetics
  • Neoplasms, Hormone-Dependent / physiopathology
  • Neoplasms, Hormone-Dependent / prevention & control
  • Neoplasms, Hormone-Dependent / therapy
  • Oncogenes
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic
  • Prostate / anatomy & histology
  • Prostatic Intraepithelial Neoplasia / genetics
  • Prostatic Intraepithelial Neoplasia / pathology
  • Prostatic Intraepithelial Neoplasia / physiopathology
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / physiopathology
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / prevention & control
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / therapy
  • Rats
  • Receptors, Androgen / genetics
  • Receptors, Androgen / physiology


  • Androgens
  • Receptors, Androgen